Mustard is the second most-used spice in the United States; only exceeded by the peppercorn. All parts of the plant are edible, including seeds, leaves, and flowers.
Mustard, is a member of the Brassica family of plants. Its English name, mustard, is derived from a contraction of the Latin mustum ardens meaning “burning must.” This is a reference to the spicy heat of the crushed mustard seeds and the French practice of mixing the ground seeds with must, the young, unfermented juice of wine grapes.
The early Romans, used to grind mustard seeds and mix them with wine into a paste; sound familiar?? The spice was popular in Europe before the time of the Asian spice trade.
The Romans took the mustard seed to Gaul, where it was planted in vineyards along with the grapes. It soon became a popular condiment.
Mustard was once considered a medicinal plant rather than a culinary one. In the sixth century B.C., Greek scientist Pythagoras used mustard as a remedy for scorpion stings. A hundred years later, Hippocrates used mustard in medicines and poultices. Mustard plasters were applied to treat toothaches and a number of other ailments.
YELLOW HOT DOG MUSTARD (Canning)
- 1/2 cup yellow mustard seed powder (dry ground)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup apple cider (or distilled white vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- Start by sterilizing your jars. Use one glass half-pint jar or two 4-ounce jars. While the jar(s) are sterilizing, prepare the mustard:
- Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small saucepan until smoothly combined. The mixture will be quite liquid at this stage. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the mustard cool for 5 minutes. The mustard will thicken slightly during this time, but don’t be concerned if it isn’t as thick yet as you want the final product to be. Don’t be tempted to add more mustard powder to thicken it up: the mustard will continue to thicken over the next 24 hours or even a couple of days.
- Transfer the mustard to the sterilized glass jar(s). Securely fasten the lid(s). Let cool to room temperature before storing the mustard in the refrigerator.
**Important: Wait at least 24 hours before sampling your mustard. Freshly made mustard is disgustingly bitter. The flavor mellows within a day or two.